Friday, November 04, 2016

Thinking of becoming a sperm donor?

Many men think of donating sperm as a quick buck--like selling their blood.

But Tamar Lewin, NYT, Nov 3, 2016, says your odds of getting into Harvard or Stanford are higher than being accepted at any of the major sperm banks.

California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank, the two largest, take only one in 1,000 applicants.

White men under 5'9" need not apply. Some ethnic groups can be shorter.

You must keep your sperm count high--meaning 2-3 days of abstinence before donating.  And donors must produce a good specimen once or twice a week.

Don't count on quick money. To prevent the spread of of HIV and other diseases, the FDA requires that sperm be frozen for six months and the donor retested before it can be used--and the donor can be paid.

Lots of forms--lots of tests.

There will be many questions about your sexual history, drug use, travel, hobbies, etc. You will undergo physical, personality, and STD screening.

You may be asked for a childhood or adult photo and write an essay or make a tape for users. There will also be genetic testing.

The pay is also variable based on how many vials your specimens fill. You could make $1,500 a month if accepted.

You can't wait for the mood to strike--donations are made during business hours and some banks have short hours.  You will agree to donate at least once a week for six months to a year--to justify the $2,000 they spend screening you.

How many babies can you create? The biggest sperm banks have rules that limit on donor to 25-30 family units. Some people prefer the same donor for 2-3 children. It is not unusual for one donor to father dozens.

But you may not get to meet these offspring. Some donors join the Donor Sibling Registry to see how many they have fathered, but sperm donors can remain anonymous. Still, even anonymous donors are being identified by curious children.

So--sound like something you'd like to get into?

Full disclosure--I started out to conceive with donor sperm and have been through this process, but along the way, I met a guy, he "donated" to me, and my daughter ended up being his--not #234's--the Irish guy with musical ability.

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